Stockholm-based ‘urban farming’ start-up Swegreen has signed an agreement with Swedish supermarket chain ICA Focus to grow and harvest vegetables at its Gothenburg store.
Using Swegreen’s automated cultivation system, the agreement will enable the retailer to offer customers fresh crops all year round – harvested directly in store.
It means that ICA Focus’s Gothenburg store will be the first in Sweden to offer its customers ‘hyperlocally’ produced crops grown from seed to finished plant inside the store. The cultivation plant uses hydroponic cultivation technology, that is claimed to be both efficient and climate-smart. The technical solution also includes the company’s special lighting and nutrient recipe, air conditioning system for control of heat, humidity and carbon dioxide, digital monitoring and control – as well as data-driven intelligence for optimizing the cultivation processes.
Through Swegreen’s subscription-based business model Farming-as-a-Service (FaaS), the cooperation between the parties is based on a long-term commitment where Swegreen ensures efficient production at agreed volumes.
“Our FaaS model means that every store and restaurant owner can offer their customers hyper-locally grown, fresh and high-quality crops that have fantastic nutrition and taste – at competitive prices, says Swegreen’s CEO Andreas Dahlin.
“We are very proud and happy to start this collaboration with ICA Focus. It is a store that wants to be at the forefront, and I think there are many who want to follow their example.
Ica Focus is located in the Gårda district in central Gothenburg, close to Liseberg and the Swedish Exhibition Center.
“Our customers have demanded more locally produced and sustainable in our range – and it will not be closer and greener than this, says Daniel Åkerhage, store manager at ICA Focus.
“Now we look forward to our first harvest, which we expect to take place later in August,” he says.
At full capacity, it is possible to harvest almost 300 units of fresh lettuce and herbs every day in the cultivation facility in the ICA Focus store.
Main image: From left: Andreas Dahlin, CEO of Swegreen. Elsa Aldersson, ICA Focus responsible for store cultivation. Marcus Petersson, Chairman of Swegreen